“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” Salvator Hardin (Foundation, Isaac Asimov)
The first series of the award-winning series based on the novels by the world-famous science fiction writer and founder of the rules of robotics Isaac Asimov was filmed in Ireland. This spring, the 300-member film crew moved to Prague and also to the Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice to continue filming the second part. The faculty meets the requirements of the film makers and matches one of the many locations – the planet of Trantor where part of the action takes place.
“TRANTOR… At the beginning of the thirteenth millennium, this tendency reached its climax. As the centre of the Imperial Government for unbroken hundreds of generations and located, as it was, in the central regions of the Galaxy among the most densely populated and industrially advanced worlds of the system, it could scarcely help being the densest and richest clot of humanity the Race had ever seen.” Isaac Asimov, (Foundation, 1951)
The film production services in the Czech Republic are provided by Milk & Honey Pictures. The monumental adaptation of Foundation is based on the highly appreciated Asimov’s stories which are now regarded as cult pieces of world-famous science fiction literature. The film series depicts the stories of four characters crossing the boundaries of space-time. The protagonists overcome internal and external dramatic catharses, changes of loyalty as well as complicated relationships that can decide the future fate of humanity. In addition to Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Lou Llobell and Leah Harvey the series features international cast including Laura Birn, Terrence Mann and Cassian Bilton.
For a few days in May, the faculty transformed into one of Asimov’s planets in order to help the genius mathematician Hari Seldon solve difficult galactic problems because he is the only one able to predict, using his highly sophisticated theory, how human races will behave after longer periods of time. This is how Foundation established the science called psychohistory which can predict the future using mathematical equations and formulas.
The book series by Isaac Asimov comprises a total of seven parts that share the story and environment. Nevertheless, the parts can be watched separately and in random order. This is one of the things that testifies the writer’s genius.
Isaac Asimov was born in 1920 in Russia in Petrovichi but was an American writer and biochemist of a Jewish origin. He wrote over three hundred scientific papers and science fiction books. Throughout his life, he won a number of prestigious awards (Hugo, Nebula, Locus, etc.). He is the author of the three laws of robotics – Asimov’s laws on robot behaviour which have gradually become the dogmatic rules in robotics literature:
- A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
His family emigrated to the US when he was eight years old. He never learned Russian and never visited his native country. He suffered from claustrophilia (opposite of claustrophobia) and severe short-sightedness. He never learned to swim or ride a bike. He also wrote detective stories. He died in 1992 v New York.
The theme addressed in the novel appears to be timeless during these uncertain times and leads to a deeper reflection on the current direction of humanity following the past two years and the turbulent development of circumstances affecting each of us.
Mgr. Lucie Stříbrná, Ph.D.